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What do I need to learn to make decent web pages. I already know HTML and would like to know if I should learn Java and anything else. Should I go to school to learn about web page design or is there a good website to learn from. Any suggestions would be helpful.
I think it all depends on what kind of sites you want to design really. If you want nice graphical pretty type sites, get good at graphics and layout first. This day in age I can really care less if my code is sloppy myself if going for looks. If you code to be cross browser compatible, layout is the first thing you should approach when designing a site. Ease of use, find and search for content also should be a consideration. Then worry about what your code looks like just as long as it secure as well.
That's my opinion in webdesign. Its really if you want to be a frontend type of guy or just mainly a backend. I know some really smart people, who can do all kinds of amazing things with code, but when you look at thier site, it looks like utter crap. Webdesign is kind of like art, you need to be an artist to make it look pleasing to the eye. Cause to tell you the truth, most poeple out there using the net can care less what's behind the pages they look at....
Originally posted by bolinux But I suck at drawing. Does that make a difference? Could I get someone else to do the work for me? If not where can I learn to draw.
If you can find someone to do it for you, sure but drawing is a skill most of the time that takes practice and patience to get better. Though its not all about drawing, you can even take pictures yourself and use those on sites, doing your own manipulation to them to make them fit on the site.
learning about how to design good webpages is difficult and takes a lot of trial and error, but learning how not to design bad webpages is relatively easy. There are some basic rules you have to learn that make sure you are up to par, and whatever you figure out or add to that is what makes you a good web designer. Try http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com That site will show you some of the basic mistakes you need to avoid. Also, knowing what you want to do is a big part knowing what you need to learn. i.e. don't learn SQL if you aren't going to be setting up databases ( I think one of the acronyms I used before was WAP... that's for wireless handheld devices... don't learn that)
a good place to learn a lot of stuff is w3schools.com, lots of free tutorials
<edit> oh.. someone already mentioned w3schools.... well I second that.
I've seen way too many pages by people who really know HTML inside and out. Shame they lack the fundamentals of design skills. (BTW I suck at design). Have a look at this page and see if you can make the cut.
CSS and XSL are great resources, keeping content and format separate is a really good idea for creating coherent websites and being able to update them easily. That website is really interesting, and it shows exactly what can be done when you get creative.
Thanks for that link, mcleodnine. I just spent the better part of an hour over there admiring the work, and trying to learn something useful. Tip: sites that scroll from side-to-side like a print brochure don't work well. I must take my O'Reilly CSS book off the shelf and reread.